House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was deputy.

Topics

Social Policy
Statements By Members

February 4th, 1994 / 11:10 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government threw Canada's financial dice for nine years, taking a terrible gamble with our tax money. It bet heavily on a rising economy hoping that the economy would outgrow the deficit and the problem would just somehow go away. As we know the economy did not grow fast enough and the result is today's fiscal disaster.

In the budget to be brought down this month let us hope the government realizes that good intentions, wishful thinking, or hoping that somehow the right cards will turn up will never put anyone to work. Governments should learn from the mistakes of the past.

Reformers have been warning for years that high deficits and high unemployment are directly related. We will seal the fate of our unemployed by allowing deficits to balloon out of control.

Any budgetary plan that trusts in luck as a basis of its fiscal policy will keep the unemployed out of work and that, you can bet on.

Winter Olympic Games
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Wellington—Grey—Dufferin—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the athletes who will be representing Canada at the winter Olympic games at Lillehammer, Norway. These young Canadians deserve our recognition and full support for their hard work and commitment to their sport.

I wish to mention one athlete, Michelle Ruthven, a resident of Orangeville, a town in my riding. I wish to extend to Michelle congratulations on behalf of myself and the residents of Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Simcoe on her great accomplishments as a Canadian athlete.

House Of Commons
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my deep satisfaction with the debates that have taken place here over the past two weeks.

We MPs on all sides of this House represent the people who elected us. The various points of view have helped me to better understand this great country.

I especially congratulate my hon. colleagues across the floor, the Bloc and the Reform. They have spoken with conviction and passion. I doubt if there is a country in the world that would permit such a free exchange of ideas, ideas sometimes that call into question the very fabric of this nation.

We have heard here and felt the strength that is Canada. We do not pay lip service to freedom of speech, we live it. We should be the envy of the world.

House Of Commons
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

Perhaps my hon. colleagues will permit me an observation. I notice that it is 14 minutes after the hour and all of the statements we had for today have been delivered. May I with respect to all hon. members compliment you, because we seem to be getting our work done in time now. I think it is great we are doing this.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

While it refuses to divulge its plan of action to put a stop to cigarette smuggling, the government expressed its intention to enforce the law everywhere in Canada, including on Indian reserves. In fact, the Deputy Prime Minister herself said that living on a reserve does not give the right to violate Canadian laws.

Mr. Speaker, my question is: Will the Deputy Prime Minister reiterate in this House her intention to enforce the law, and will she promise to take necessary action to ensure that the law is indeed enforced everywhere, including on Indian reserves, in spite of the reservations expressed to that effect by the Solicitor General?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, these days, the members opposite keep repeating that smuggling we do nothing about cigarette smuggling.

The Leader of the Official Opposition was a Cabinet member in the previous government for 781 days, but he did not act. We have been in office for less than 100 days. We will have a plan of action next week, and this is what I call true action and real governing.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the government will intervene everywhere, including in Akwesasne, to ensure that the law is respected even though the Mohawk authorities in Akwesasne declared yesterday that the RCMP had no right to intervene on the reserve territory?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the problem of contraband smuggling is not limited to reserves. It is an unfortunate mistake on the part of the member if he leaves the Canadian people with the impression that this is strictly a problem on reserves.

The problem of contraband smuggling is one that involves organized crime. It is a problem that is spreading with rapidity throughout major parts of the country. It is also a problem that his leader sat in a cabinet for 781 days and did nothing about.

We have been in cabinet for less than 100 days. We have been working very hard on a concerted plan which will respect and indeed ameliorate the health conditions of Canadians and at the same time deal with the enforcement issues.

I would say that is a government that is not about talk, it is about action.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is strange to hear this government talk about action, considering that to this day only one minor bill was tabled, but we did hear a lot of lip service.

I am also surprised to hear the Deputy Prime Minister complain because we raise the issue of smuggling on reserves, since she herself made a statement yesterday on national television, regarding that problem.

Since other statements were also made on the national networks yesterday, does the Deputy Prime Minister intend to follow up the request for an urgent meeting made by Mohawk officials? As you know, some of their spokespersons have threatened to stage a major confrontation if the RCMP tries to enforce the law on their reserves.

Will the government meet with Mohawk officials from Akwesasne, Kanesatake and Kahnawake to discuss cigarette smuggling? Yes or no?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, what I said yesterday and what the Prime Minister mentioned repeatedly, is that we are asking all Canadians to respect the law, whether it is in a convenience store or on an Indian reserve.

I am somewhat surprised by the member's question, because on the one hand he claims that this problem strictly concerns Indian reserves, while on the other hand he wants us to negotiate with those who created the problem.

In fact, we have already initiated a dialogue with all the stakeholders, including provincial governments. I know that the minister responsible for aboriginal issues is meeting with all our Cabinet colleagues to come up with a solution by next week. This is what I call action and I am surprised to see the Bloc Quebecois tell us about enforcing the law when it was precisely a member of that party who was bragging about prevention-

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Bellechasse.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. The action plan on cigarette smuggling that the government is about to announce is said to include a six dollar cutback in taxes on a carton of cigarettes. Nevertheless, provinces in English Canada are joining forces against any cutbacks in taxes.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether the government is going to proceed with its plan to reduce federal taxes on tobacco, even though it may be supported only by the province of Quebec?

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

First, Mr. Speaker, there is no such thing as English Canada provinces. Canada is a country where all the languages of the world are spoken. Just take a stroll in my riding and see for yourself.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Cigarette Smuggling
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Hamilton East, ON

Second, the Prime Minister stated very clearly that we were going to co-operate closely with the provinces and try to come to an agreement. However, if we can not reach an agreement, we are prepared to go ahead on our own. I should say to the hon. member that his leader asked us last week to make a move with or without Quebec. He should decide whether he wants the co-operation of the provinces or whether he wants the federal government to take the lead. As far as we are concerned, we want to make a deal with the provinces.